Basic+ Word of the Day: steam

steam (noun, verb) past tense: steamed LISTEN

Steam is water in a gas or vapor form.

  • Steam fills the bathroom whenever Jesse showers.
  • If you inhale the steam from your hot tea, it will help your cold.

Steam also means ‘to heat with steam.’

  • Steam the vegetables for three minutes to retain the vitamins.
  • The tailor steamed the jacket after he sewed on the collar.

Steam can also mean ‘to be covered with condensed steam.’

  • When the chef opened the oven, her glasses steamed up.
  • The car windows steam up during a rainstorm.

Common uses

steam bath: a room filled with steam for the purpose of relaxing and cleaning.

steam engine: an engine, usually on a train or boat, powered by steam.

Related words

Steamy means ‘covered with steam’ or ‘hot,’ but it can also mean ‘sexually arousing.’ Example: “Alice was reading a steamy novel.’

In pop culture

Enjoy Peter Gabriel’s music video of his song, “Steam.” Watch for the steam bath and steam engine. Do you think this video is steamy?

There are other meanings of steam.
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